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Cheerleading, social media, and free speech: What the Supreme Court’s decision in Mahanoy School District v. B.L. means for students’ First Amendment rights

One of the biggest student free speech cases in the last half century started with a high school cheerleader and a profanity-laced Snapchat. The implications of that terse, ephemeral message extend well beyond the original hundred-plus friends with whom the freshman student shared her post. In a decision today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 8-1…

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President Biden reduces transparency of agency rules

On his first day in office, President Joseph Biden issued an executive order revoking several of his predecessor’s executive orders designed to bring greater transparency and fairness to federal regulations. In the order, Biden directed all executive branch agencies to rescind “any orders, rules, regulations, guidelines, or policies” deriving from those executive orders he revoked….

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Supreme Court unanimously rules FTC must comply with the law

Today, the Supreme Court ruled 9-0 in an opinion delivered by Justice Breyer that the Federal Trade Commission must comply with the law and end its ultra vires pursuit of money damages. The opinion presents a straightforward statutory interpretation of the scope of FTC enforcement power under Section 13(b) of the FTC Act, which allows…

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In Uzuegbunam, the Supreme Court validates nominal damages as a means of protecting constitutional rights

Thanks to the Supreme Court’s March 8, 2021, ruling in Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski, No. 19-968, that a claim for nominal damages is enough to maintain standing, plaintiffs’ ability to seek vindication in court for infringement of speech rights is secure, even where the plaintiff cannot prove monetary harm. As Casey Mattox and I recently wrote…

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Americans for Prosperity Foundation and yes. every kid. file brief in Supreme Court educational freedom case

Every kid needs and deserves a quality education — one that provides them with essential skills and helps them find and develop their talents and interests. Our nation’s education system should be flexible and responsive enough to support students as they identify the subjects and practices that engage them and drive their passion. That’s the…

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Narrow question in Supreme Court campus speech case has broad First Amendment implications

The Supreme Court hears oral argument today in Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski, addressing whether “a government’s post-filing change of an unconstitutional policy moots nominal-damages claims that vindicate the government’s past, completed violation of a plaintiff’s constitutional right.” Translation? The justices are deciding whether people whose rights have been violated should have their day in court even…

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SCOTUS has chance to clarify the muddy waters of takings jurisprudence in Cedar Point v. Hassid

From before the founding, the “fundamental maxims of a free government [have] seem[ed] to require, that the rights of personal liberty and private property should be held sacred.” The Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment exists to protect those sacred rights from unfettered state appropriation by requiring: first, that any taking of private property be…

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Supreme Court should protect citizens’ rights to freely access U.S. waters

When Jim and Cliff Courtney sought to offer private boat transportation so customers could conveniently access their businesses — including Stehekin Valley Ranch, with cabins and a lodge house in the Lake Chelan National Recreation Area — the state of Washington denied their right to do so unless the Courtneys could prove the existing ferry…

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